Next Round of PAVE PAWS Mitigation Contacts Begins
On Wednesday, October 22, the FCC notified the ARRL that they would immediately begin making direct contact with owners or trustees of approximately 40 repeaters. The US Air Force identified these repeaters earlier this year as contributors to the harmful interference affecting the Beale Air Force Base PAVE PAWS radar installation near Sacramento, California.
"ARRL understands that contact with individual amateurs will be made from the FCC's San Francisco office," said ARRL Regulatory Information Branch Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. "The owners of these newly identified repeaters will be provided the operating parameters determined by the Air Force engineering unit's testing to be necessary to mitigate the interference. The owners will be requested to meet signal strength limits as soon as possible. The ARRL Lab and staff are available to answer specific questions for the owners of these newly identified repeaters and to provide technical information to assist them in implementing the mitigation."
Henderson said that as the Amateur Radio Service is a secondary user on the 70 cm band, "It is important for amateurs to remember that it is 100 percent our responsibility to eliminate harmful interference to the primary user. While we realize that this is and will continue to be an ongoing process, this third round of mitigation should mean that each of the known repeaters in the affected area have been tested at least once. How the FCC will address approximately 50 repeaters previously identified as interference contributors -- but which have not apparently completed the required modifications -- still remains. Nor is it clear when a process by which new coordinations can be issued in the area might commence."
Henderson reminded amateurs that "It is important to remember that this isn't a one-time solution. The amateur community needs to remain aware of this problem and responsibly utilize the band in the future to avoid any large-scale problems such as those we have experienced in this situation."